Carlos Dunlap – Potential Steal and Top Overall DE?

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Top DE in Weeks 10-17: Carlos Dunlap


Can Dunlap be the DE1 overall in 2020?

Carlos Dunlap was the top-scoring DE in most IDP scoring formats in the second half of the season. At his current dynasty ADP, this massive production absolutely jumped off the page as a potential steal and possibly even a league-winning type player. However, Dunlap’s production was extremely disappointing at the beginning of the season. After consulting several top football minds, nobody could explain what changed to trigger this league-winning type production. So, I dug deeper and consulted the film.

Why the Slow Start?

  • Dunlap missed weeks 6 and 7 with a knee injury
    • Had played in all 16 games each of the previous 6 seasons
  • The 2019 Bengals started 0-12 and suffered through a few blowouts
    • Teams did not need to pass to compete, which also limited obvious passing downs
    • Bengals finished with the 2nd lowest pass attempts against with only 499

What Caused the Second Half IDP Explosion

  • Dunlap exposed some bad offensive line play
  • Bengals were moving to a new hybrid defensive scheme under Lou Anarumo
    • Carlos Dunlap excels with his hand(s) in the ground getting after the passer
    • Played everywhere, but was asked to play some as a stand-up linebacker in the 3-4 front and read plays and cover more
    • Lacked explosion early when lining up with feet square to the line of scrimmage, but transitioned more to a staggered stance
  • Carlos Dunlap remains one of the best in the league at batting down passes

Bonus: Josh Bynes and Nick Vigil were one of the slowest off-ball linebacker duos in the league. They were extremely painful to watch behind several 5 man fronts and left the second layer of the defense completely exposed against speed. This left me wanting to gouge my eyes out while watching the film of Dunlap. Check out Joeythetooth’s write up on how the Bengals might look to effectively fill these spots with rookies.

Potential Steal in 2020?

Carlos Dunlap is still a good football player, especially at his current ADP. However, this narrative shows the importance of watching and exploiting tackle match-ups more than it illustrates Dunlap’s ability to sustain elite IDP production throughout next year. This strategy becomes even easier to exploit at the end of the season when injuries pile up. Come back to The IDP Guys for the weekly rankings to take full advantage!

Some veteran pass rushers like Dunlap, Brandon Graham, and Jason Pierre-Paul can be acquired at huge discounts in dynasty and still be huge contributors to competitive IDP squads. So continue to draft Carlos Dunlap and use him wisely – he is frequently a steal at his current ADP. However, we can pretty safely rule out Dunlap repeating his monster performance from the end of 2019 to finish as the top overall DE.


Keep following this series on my Twitter page @ONUtyjo (IDP Dynasty Authority) and at idpguys.org to help load up your IDP squads in 2020!

Hit me up with those fantasy questions and ideas. Let’s win those leagues and rake in the cash!

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Former college football player, team leader in personal fouls for two straight seasons. Work as an engineer when I'm not engulfed in fantasy football. Follow me on twitter @ONUtyjo to talk anything fantasy football related: IDP, dynasty, contract leagues, superflex, devy, etc.